YOUNG HARRIS, GA. (WFIE) - Despite getting home runs from junior pitcher Katie Back (Indianapolis, Indiana) and freshman designated player Lexi Fair (Greenwood, Indiana), University of Southern Indiana Softball could not overcome a four-run fifth inning as the No. 16 Screaming Eagles suffered a 6-4 loss to No. 5 Young Harris College Sunday.
Young Harris (8-1) got a solo home run from second baseman Carly Rigsbee to lead off the home half of the fourth inning and break a scoreless tie. The Eagles answered with an RBI-single by sophomore catcher Sammie Kihega (Greenfield, Indiana) in the top of the fifth inning, but a four-run fifth inning by the host Mountain Lions that featured a solo home run and a pair of run-scoring doubles put the Eagles into a 5-1 deficit heading into the final two innings.
Fair, who was 2-of-3 at the dish with a double and the home run, led off the sixth frame with a solo shot to get the Eagles to within three runs, but Young Harris responded with a leadoff home run in the bottom of the sixth to push its lead back to four runs.
Back had a two-run shot in the seventh inning to cut USI’s deficit in half, but that was as close as the Eagles would get as the Mountain Lions got back-to-back outs to finish the game with the 6-4 win.
USI had several scoring opportunities early in the contest, but stranded a runner on second base in the first inning; at first and third base in the second frame; at first base in the third inning; and at second and third base in the fourth. In total, the Eagles left nine runners on base throughout the contest.
Sophomore pitcher Allie Goodin (Evansville, Indiana) took the loss despite a strong effort throughout the first four innings. Goodin (1-3) scattered one hit throughout the first three innings before giving up the solo home run in the fourth. She surrendered four runs off four hits and four walks in 4.2 innings of work.
The Eagles return to action Saturday at noon when they take on Midwest Region foe Cedarville University to open the Blue Bridge Battle in Owensboro, Kentucky. USI also takes on Lake Erie College Saturday at 2 p.m., before playing Northwood University and Kentucky Wesleyan College next Sunday at noon and 2 p.m., respectively.